Solntse (The Sun)


Solntse (The Sun)

Critics Consensus

Certainly not for the impatient, Aleksandr Sokurov's deliberately paced look at Hirohito in the waning days of World War II is both enlightening and admirable in its restraint.



Total Count: 40


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,011
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Solntse (The Sun) Photos

Movie Info

The events surrounding Japanese emperor Hirohito's August 1945 call for a complete cease fire among his troops serves as the subject of Alexander Sokurov's thought-provoking historical drama. In the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito (Issey Ogata) announces to the world that Japan will surrender unconditionally. His declaration was broadcast over the radio on August 15, 1945, and stunned the Japanese people. In this film, Sokurov details not only the events surrounding the emperor's declaration of surrender, but his renunciation of divine status as well.


Issei Ogata
as Shouwa-Tennou Hirohito
Robert Dawson
as General Douglas MacArthur
Robert M. Dawson
as General MacArthur
Kaori Momoi
as Empress Kojun
Shiro Sano
as The Chamberlain
Shinmei Tsuji
as Old Servant
Taijiro Tamura
as Scientist
Georgiy Pitskhelauri
as MacArthur's Warrant Officer
Hiroya Morita
as Prime Minister Suzuki
Toshiaki Nishizawa
as Yonai, Minister of the Navy
Naomasa Musaka
as Anami, Minister of the War
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Critic Reviews for Solntse (The Sun)

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (3)

  • Working from Yuri Arabov and Jeremy Noble's script, Sokurov has a wonderful time not simply with Hirohito and history, but with his filmmaking, which can be oblique to the point of being stultifying. Here he plays with scale.

    Apr 1, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Alexander Sokurov's The Sun demands and rewards patience.

    Mar 25, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The Sun took four years to reach American theaters, but the long delay hasn't diminished the force of Sokurov's experimentation.

    Nov 19, 2009 | Rating: A | Full Review…

    Sam Adams

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • First shown at the Berlin Film Festival four years ago, The Sun is finally receiving its welcome American theatrical release, which means that one of the best movies of 2005 is now also one of the best of 2009.

    Nov 19, 2009 | Rating: 4.5/5
  • Though he successfully humanizes Hirohito, who is shown happily shedding his divinity, Sokurov doesn't entirely exonerate him.

    Nov 17, 2009 | Full Review…
  • As usual, Sokurov's unhurried pacing will test the patience of more fidgety viewers, although the script is more accessible than some of his recent efforts.

    Feb 10, 2006

Audience Reviews for Solntse (The Sun)

  • Dec 28, 2009
    Elegiac portrait of Japan's Emperor Hirohito at the end of World War II. A fascinating character study, portraying the Emperor as a sheltered child, faced with the impossible task of sacrificing his dignity and and the pride of his people by renouncing his status as a deity in order to allow the Allies to land in Japan and end the war without further aggression. Strikingly filmed in muted tones.
    Matthew L Super Reviewer
  • Nov 28, 2009
    "The Sun" is a surprisingly lightweight movie, considering its setting at the end of World War II. The tone is deeply ironic, wondering how Emperor Hirohito(Issei Ogata) could allow the atrocities of an inhuman war to be fought in his name if he was so cultured, educated and interested in the sciences which clashes with the divinity forced upon him.(Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Hirohito just a figurehead?) In fact, his palace design owes more to Western than Japanese ideas. Upon his desk are the busts of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin and Napoleon.(Well, the last one did not turn out so well.) In fact, Hirohito seems positively hurt at American anti-immigration legislation, partially blaming that for the war. And as General Douglas MacArthur(Robert Dawson) meets with Hirohito and does not find the devil he was expecting, the emperor discovers a world devastated just outside of his door that he was hardly aware of since most of his learning comes from books and tutors.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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